KUCHING: Fund for the repair works of all malfunctioned desalination plants were already approved by the Prime Minister to help address acute water shortage in coastal villages throughout Sarawak. Director General of Implementation Co-ordination Unit (ICU) Prime Minister Department Tan Sri Ahmad Zaki Ansore said RM5 million have been set aside to carry out the repair works for the eight desalination plants. “Total approved is RM5 million and Sarawak Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) will implement the project,” he told The Borneo Post. Zaki said works at three locations namely in Teluk Melano, Kampung Batang Maro and Kampung Lanjong, Bekenu were awarded and have started very recently. “The project in Kampung Teluk Melano was awarded to Solidium (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd. Project was handed over to contractor on February 6 and work started on February 27. It is expected to be completed by August 28. “Projects in Kampung Batang Maro and Kampung Lajong, Bekenu costing were awarded to Polyfusion Pipeworks System. Work started on March 1 in Kampung Batang Maro, and is expected to be completed by August 31. While in Kampung Lajong work started on March 2 and completion date is scheduled on September 1. “Sarawak Development Office (SDO) and JBALB will closely monitor the repair works at these plants,” he said. The eight desalination plants were built by 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) Foundation to provide safe, clean water where the water source was salty. The eight areas are namely Beladin, Kampung Batang Maro, Teluk Melano, Kampung Punang in Lawas, Kampung Bruit and Kampung Penipah in Pulau Bruit, Kampung Lanjong in Kuala Niah and Lubok Samsu in Simunjan.